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Masculinities, women’s rights & human rights: Advocacy to address sexual violence

Harding, Lucy Helen (2015) Masculinities, women’s rights & human rights: Advocacy to address sexual violence. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Using a masculinities and human rights framework, this thesis explores civil society advocacy to address sexual violence. This thesis provides recommendations aimed at enhancing civil society effectiveness. Ultimately, seeking to reduce the real rate of rape and improve survivors’ access to justice. This study seeks to respond to current literature gaps to: broaden our understanding of human rights advocacy, examine activists’ conceptualisation of masculinities and human rights as a field, identify the impact of this field of women’s rights - and explore how responses to sexual violence may account for men’s experiences of victimisation. Alongside a review of the literature, this thesis uses two case studies to address the research questions. The first of these case studies looks at civil society advocacy to enact and implement the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007. The second of these case studies explores the work of a South African based ‘masculinities and human rights’ NGO, named Sonke Gender Justice Network. This thesis challenges the dominant literature on human rights advocacy. In contrast to the literature’s focus on transnational advocacy networks, this study explores a domestic network which is a product of new cross-sector alliances. The exploration of male rape in South Africa introduces two new concepts: accidental and ambivalent advocacy. These concepts are applied in order to explain how male rape came to be legally recognised, without concerted advocacy to champion the rights of male rape victims. Ultimately, this thesis argues that the impacts of a masculinities and human rights framework are contradictory and dependent on the way the framework is realised in practice. The framework provides some opportunities for developing civil society advocacy to address male rape. However, the way the framework is currently implemented by South Africa’s largest masculinities and human rights NGO raises concerns regarding its impact on women’s rights.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Human rights, Masculinities, Women's rights, Advocacy, Civil society, Sexual violence, Rape, Male rape, South Africa, NGOs
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: Lucy Helen Harding
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 12:30
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2016 00:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9690

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